YNW Melly appeared in a Florida court for a status hearing on Wednesday (September 27). Judge John Murphy said the court still intends to begin jury selection for the rapper’s retrial on October 9, but the judge will consider the defense’s motion to dismiss the double murder case.
As AllHipHop previously reported, YNW Melly’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss his murder case due to alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Judge Murphy wanted to give prosecutors time to respond to the accusations.
If the motion is denied, jury selection will start as planned in October. YNW Melly’s attorney Stuart Adelstein said it will likely take weeks to seat a jury.
“We’ll be lucky to pick a jury before Thanksgiving,” Adelstein told Judge Murphy at Wednesday’s hearing.
This past summer, YNW Melly was tried for the 2018 murders of YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser. Jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Judge Murphy declared a mistrial in July.
Prosecutors quickly announced their intentions to retry YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons. The defense hoped to avoid a retrial, filing a motion for dismissal on Tuesday (September 26).
Defense attorneys accused the prosecution of withholding evidence concerning Detective Mark Moretti, the lead investigator in YNW Melly’s case. The lawyers believed the prosecution shelved an internal affairs investigation and a possible criminal investigation against Moretti to protect him as a witness in the first trial.
“The unfortunate stark reality is that the State intentionally withheld this information that would impeach Detective Moretti in order to gain a tactical advantage and to violate Mr. Demons’ due process rights as guaranteed by both the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the parallel provisions of the Florida Constitution,” defense lawyers contended.
YNW Melly remains in jail. He maintains his innocence in the murder case.